Zero can bundle and render React. Zero treats each .jsx file in your project folder as a separate page.

If your component resides in ./about.jsx file, it's exposed at http://<SERVER>/about. Inspired by good ol' PHP days.

Quick Start

Create a file index.jsx in an empty folder and add the following code to it:

// index.jsx
export default () => <h1>Hello React</h1>;

The above code exports a stateless React component with h1 heading.

You can now run zero command in this folder and open http://localhost:3000/ in the browser.

For each React page, zero does the following for you:

  • Transpilation and bundling (with Parcel).
  • Bundle CSS/SASS/SCSS.
  • Server rendering, so you don't see blank page until JS loads.
  • Inject session data into this.props.
  • Automatic code splitting

Fetching Data from API

Loading data from API and then displaying it is a common task in any website. Zero provides a lifecycle hook to populate props of the page component.

To do this, export a React.Component class. Consider the example below which fetches user's messages and display the count:

// inbox.jsx
export default class extends React.Component {
static async getInitialProps({ req, user, url }) {
var messages = await fetch("/api/messages").then(resp => resp.json());
return { messages: messages };
render() {
return <div>You have {this.props.messages.length} new messages.</div>;

Notice that to load data, we use getInitialProps which is an async static method. It can asynchronously fetch anything that resolves to a JavaScript plain Object, which populates props. getInitialProps is inspired by Next.js.

This method runs on server end. Data returned from getInitialProps is serialized when server rendering. Make sure the returned object from getInitialProps is a plain Object and not using Date, Map or Set.

getInitialProps is passed an object as argument with following values:

  • req - The standard Express Request object for this request.
  • user - When a user is logged in, this object contains the session data you stored when authenticating this user. Read more.
  • url - This object contains further two keys:
    • query: Query parameters passed to the request. Like if you URL called was /post?id=1, url.query will be {id: 1}.
    • params: An object of URL parameters, available when the page is part of a dynamic route. Like: /post/19/details (handled by file ./post/$postId/details.jsx), url.params in this case will be object {postId: 19}.

fetch() API

fetch() allows you to do network requests both in server-side code (like getInitialProps) and on client-side (like componentDidMount). fetch() works the same on both the server and client.

Should you want to make a fetch request with credentials such as cookies, you should set the credentials of the request to "include".

fetch(url, {
credentials: "include"

Populating Page's Head

You should set the page's head tags (<title>, <meta>, etc.) for improved SEO. Zero has React Helmet Async set up for you to use in your React components like below:

import { Helmet } from "react-helmet-async";
module.exports = () => (
<meta charset="UTF-8" />
<title>Page Title</title>
<link rel="canonical" href="" />
<h1>Hello World</h1>

You can check all the supported tags here.

Importing CSS/Sass

Zero has built-in support for .css and .scss files. You can import a stylesheet by import-ing it in your component. Like below:

// hello.jsx
import "./style.scss";
module.exports = ({ name }) => <h1>Hello {name}</h1>;

Zero will automatically transpile all imported .scss files to CSS and bundle them into a single .css file.


Zero supports React in TypeScript. Just use .tsx file extension with your TypeScript React page:

import * as React from "react";
export default class HelloWorld extends React.Component<{}, {}> {
render() {
return <b>Hello TypeScript</b>;

Excluding Bundle from Client-Side

In addition to SSR (rendering on server-side), Zero bundles your app and adds it as a <script /> in your page's HTML. If you only want to render static pages without including any JavaScript, you can tell zero to do that by exporting a config object from your page with noBundling: true.

This is useful if your page only has static content and doesn't have any dynamic logic (onClicks, AJAX calls etc)


// index.jsx
export default () => <h1>Hello</h1>;
export const config = {
noBundling: true

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